What brides REALLY want from a wedding fair
Having an insight into your target audience is key when it comes to any business, but particularly when to comes to attending wedding fairs or shows where you’ll have to appeal to a large number of couples in a short space of time. Guides for Brides writer and contributor Katie Eldred has been on both sides of the fence, so she’s shared her insight below to help you prepare for the upcoming wedding fair season…
As wedding businesses, we spend so much time trying to put ourselves in the shoes of the couples that we come into contact with, trying to guess what they’re thinking and how best to advise, inform and ultimately, sell to them. It’s for that reason that unedited access to a bride’s mind is a real treat.
I have recently been granted this uncensored access. After working in the industry for a couple of years, my best friend is engaged. It’s been an insightful opportunity to accompany her to wedding events, chat about the planning process and recommend suppliers.
The more we chatted, the more I realised that no matter how long you’ve worked in the industry, every supplier could do with revisiting their wedding fair strategy every once in a while. So I’ve decided to share my five top takeaways from my experience inside the mind of the modern bride…
1. They want to delighted, not just inspired
We know that brides love to be inspired, that’s what it’s all about. They want to imagine their own wedding, filled with all of these wonderful ideas. That’s why they’re all following hundreds of different instagram accounts and have been curating their “perfect wedding” Pinterest board since before they even got engaged. What we sometimes forget, however, is that they also want to be delighted. My friend wanted to see things that she hadn’t ever thought of, things she hadn’t considered. That is why she was wandering around a wedding fair. So my advice? Change it up, think outside the box – think about what your target audience would really love. The modern couple don’t want a cookie-cutter wedding, they want it to be unique, personal – that means wedding businesses need to come up with the couple’s dream wedding before they’ve even thought of it.
2. Options are important
When you’re exhibiting at a wedding fair, chances are, you’re not going to be the only option there. It’s important to remember that this is why couples attend wedding fairs. We are so used to finding discounts and deals online now, that the modern couple is unlikely to sign on the dotted line without considering a whole load of options. So take the pressure off – the important thing is that you remain one of their options, not that they say yes right there and then. By taking the pressure off your sales technique, you’ll be more friendly and approachable, and more memorable when those all important supplier decisions are made in a few week’s time.
3. The hard sell isn’t fooling anyone
It’s so tempting to go for the hard sell. You’ve seen several couples and no one is saying those words you really want to hear, I get it. But the hard sell is just so off putting. My friend actually said that she would not choose a supplier based on their tough sales technique. So again, take the pressure off. Don’t set yourself a target for on the day sales. Make sure you’re sending follow up emails, being helpful, even suggesting other suppliers to work with. In the end, those are the suppliers that are remembered after the day (for the RIGHT reasons!).
4. Giving away free stuff really helps
This is a real 2018 reality – free stuff is important. It makes us feel excited, and it makes you memorable. Couples love free stuff. My friend loves free stuff. We all love free stuff. And it really works. Something you can pop in your bag and have a look at when you get home – it’s like doing your follow up email before you’ve even written it. I am not talking about your leaflet here. Everyone has a leaflet – you need something that makes you stand out from the crowd, something that really shows off what you do or what your values are. At one wedding event, she was handed a beautiful little candle holder from a stationery supplier. When we met the business owner, she was friendly, helpful and absolutely not pushy. As we were leaving her area, she handed us the personalised favours. Guess what favours my friend is going for? You guessed it, those very same ones.
5. BUZZ WORDS ARE ANNOYING
I’ve put this one in capitals because it’s so important. I could physically see my friend’s face change when she heard the words “your special day!” uttered. She was instantly turned off. Now I’m the first to admit that some couples might love the gushy buzz words, so perhaps the real takeaway here is adapt your technique to your audience. If someone is gushing about their wedding, go ahead and gush right back, but it’s really not for everyone. Those wedding buzzwords that we think everyone loves can also be a real turn-off. The suppliers she really hit it off with were friendly and informative. Not just about their own services, but also legalities, trends and other options. What really struck me is how little some couples know about planning a wedding – so being approachable and really trying to help (not just pushing your own services) is what really pays off when it comes to making those all-important supplier decisions.
So there you have it – think outside the box, think about a small free gift you could offer and take the pressure off! Make sure you’re an option, don’t give yourself on the day targets which encourage you to hard sell and adapt your tone for your audience. It’s not rocket science, we just need a little reminder every once in a while.
Organising or exhibiting at a Wedding Fair? Make sure it has been added to our Wedding Fair Diary to get more brides attending.